A product revered around the world, Singapore Airlines A380 First Class was a flying experience that had long been on my bucket list. So after some tasty credit card signup bonuses (in this case American Express Explorer Card & Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card) I decided to pull the trigger and convert 127,500 Virgin Velocity points into Singapore Krisflyer Miles, booking a one way ticket to Singapore Changi from Sydney. Travelling with a friend (who was in economy) and in Singapore for a long weekend with some expat friends, this is my review of the exceptional Singapore Airlines A380 First Class product.
Singapore Airlines Flight 222
Sydney (SYD) – Singapore (FRA)
Duration: 8hrs 10min
Aircraft: Airbus A380-800
Class: First (Suites)
After spending around an hour in the very nice Sydney Airport Singapore Airlines First Class Lounge it was time to head to the gate to board. Once aboard I was immediately reminded just how nice is it to fly First Class. I was greeted by name and personally escorted to my huge seat, offered a choice of Champagnes, given my pyjamas and amenity kit, and told if there was anything I needed over the next 8 hours, no matter how big or small, to just ask. Needless to say it was an excellent first impression.
Seat & Seat Selection
Lucky enough to have an almost empty cabin, I chose 2A as my throne for the flight, which is in my opinion the best seat on the A380 – a perfect mixture of window views, distance from the galley noise, and privacy. If you were travelling with a companion you’d want to be in the C & D seats which transform into a double bed (which may or may not make it easy to join the mile high club).
The Singapore Airlines First Class hard product is pretty hard to beat. With a huge, incredibly comfortable seat, and an ottoman which doubles as a seat for a dining partner, there are very few places I’d rather be at 36,000 feet. My buddy Nick and I enjoyed a few glasses of Champagne with him perched at the foot of my suite. It was…pleasant…to say the least.
The First Class Suite seat controls are pretty easy to use with basically three movements – sitting up, lying down, and raising/lowering the footrest. One quirk of this seat – and probably my only gripe of the whole product – is that you can’t recline fully using the seat controls. Instead when you want to sleep you have to to ask a crew member to come and ‘flip’ the seat and make it up as a fully flat bed. I easily managed a few hours in comfort and woke feeling refreshed.
Entertainment & Wifi
I’m never usually one to spend a whole lot of time watching TV or Movies on flights so it’s hard to comment on the entire range of in-flight entertainment offerings but from a 10-minute browse I was able to ascertain that Singapore has a very extensive film and television offering and offers the same catalogue to the whole plane. Unfortunately my plane didn’t have wifi but Singapore is rolling out international wifi across the fleet – so expect it to be standard soon.
Food & Drink
2006 Dom Perignon (RRP $220) or Krug Grand Cuvee (RRP $295)? It’s a very tough dilemma so naturally I decided to indulge in both over the course of the flight. You cannot go wrong with either but personally I’m more of a Krug man.
Singapore’s First Class Boston Lobster Thermidor commands an almost mythical status amongst frequent flyers, so naturally I ordered it pre-flight using Singapore Airline’s ‘book the cook’ offering. Starting my meal with some caviar (it’s almost rude not to when flying First) and with the lobster for main, I can now say I fully understand the hype. It’s not only the best in-flight dish I’ve ever eaten, but also one of the best dishes I’ve had, period. Perfectly cooked, delicate and creamy and beautifully paired with a top-shelf German Riesling. To finish the meal I had a Coconut Hibiscus Panna Cotta and then a selection of cheese paired with a glass of 20 year old Graham’s Port. It’s hard to describe just how much I enjoyed this meal, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
A pair of fantastic pyjamas, slippers, eye mask and a Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit is on my seat upon boarding. The slippers are donned almost instantly and I admire them as I stretch my legs to touch the ottoman in front of me. By my seat is also a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling headphones which is a really nice touch and paired with the noise insulation of the A380 means you can sit in pitch silence all flight if you wish. A pleasant surprise in the amenity kit is the addition of a 30ml bottle of Ferragamo’s Acqua Essenziale eau-du-parfum – it’s a big enough bottle to give everyone on the flight a spray with and I’m still wearing it to this day.
In my experience, Asian based carriers have the world’s best premium class service, and this flight further solidified my thoughts on the matter. As I mentioned earlier – no request was too big or small. After lunch I asked for a tour of the plane (in my PJ’s of course). Stopping to say hi my mate Nick in economy I asked whether it might be possible if Nick could join me up the front for a glass of champagne. The friendly flight attendant said it was no problem at all and Nick and I dutifully enjoyed a glass (or three) of Champagne. It was one of my more memorable moments in the sky, and was made possible by a flight attendant who was willing to bend the rules.
When it comes to in flight service (the soft product), there’s a sweet spot between being too attentive and not attentive enough. If a crew moves too far to either end of the scale it’s instantly a negative experience. Singapore Airlines are the one carrier I’ve flown who consistently get the balance right and that’s why I always rank them in my top 3 airlines.
Sure, it lacks some of the ‘fun’ features of Emirates A380 First Class product (namely the bar & shower), and the pre-departure experience in Sydney leaves a bit to be desired, but in every other respect Singapore Airlines First Class Suites offer passenger an incredibly polished and enjoyable experience.
You can book Singapore Airlines First Class tickets here.